Scotland’s BVD Eradication Scheme
Through the BVD Advisory Group, Scotland’s BVD eradication scheme has been developed by the cattle industry in Scotland with Government backing through legislation.
Scotland’s scheme puts the responsibility and power in the hands of farmers to reduce the number of PI calves being born in or moving through their herds. The intention is to encourage farmers to eliminate BVD from their own herds and help them to avoid bringing infected cattle in to their herds. Those who choose not to comply are inconvenienced by trading disadvantages, movement restrictions and biosecurity controls.
The scheme’s guiding principles are:
- Industry-led. The scheme has been developed to reflect the needs of the cattle industry. The BVD Advisory Group makes sure that we do not act against the wishes of the industry. The cattle industry benefits directly from BVD eradication and bears some of the costs.
- Flexible. The eradication scheme has a range of testing options to accommodate all types of cattle keepers.
- Phased approach. Early phases emphasised collaboration and encouragement, later phases have introduced disincentives for poor compliance.
Over the course of the eradication scheme, legislation has required keepers of breeding herds to screen their cattle regularly for BVD (every seven months for dairy breeding herds, and every 13 months for other breeding herds) and has introduced control measures based on the result of the screening test. There is a requirement to test all calves born on non-breeding holdings and a prohibition on moving PIs and suspect PIs anywhere other than direct to slaughter (or under licence granted by a veterinary inspector or the Scottish Ministers). Phase 5 of the scheme introduced movement restrictions for not negative BVD herds and high risk animals without an individual BVD status, as well as Compulsory BVD Investigations for herds that have been Not Negative continuously for 15 months. The legislation governing the scheme is the Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (Scotland) Order 2019.
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